Hara Jerdoni (Asian Stone Catfish)

hara jerdoni

The Asian stone catfish, Hara jerdoni, also known as the Indian stone catfish, South Asian stone catfish, or bolly rock cod, is a species of fish in the Erethistidae family. It is endemic to India and Bangladesh. Its natural habitat is rivers and freshwater lakes. It was named after ichthyologist Francis Day Jerdon.

You may not be familiar with the name, but you’ve definitely seen this fish in your local pet store. These small and very popular fish are known to help keep aquariums clean from algae and parasites, just like their larger cousins, the big catfish! Hara jerdoni are perfect additions to almost any freshwater aquarium and are relatively easy to care for despite their small size. Here are some tips on how to take care of your Hara jerdoni if you decide to purchase one!

Hara jerdoni is also known as the Asian stone catfish, and it’s considered endangered in some parts of its native range in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. This species was first discovered by Dr. C.H. Jerdon, after whom it was named, in the mid-1800s. The hara jerdoni tends to inhabit fast-moving mountain streams with gravel bottoms and lots of submerged plants that can provide food and shelter, but they are often found in slower-moving water with less vegetation, too.

If you’re looking to add some variation to your fish tank but don’t want anything too big, the Hara Jerdoni (Asian stone catfish) might be just what you need. The breed originated in Japan, and it typically grows to between 1 and 1.5 inches long, so it makes a great addition to your tank even if you’re short on space. It has beautiful coloring that goes well with most décor, and it’s quite active during the day – unlike many other types of fish that hide when they can see people watching them.

Origin and descriptions

hara jerdoni

The Hara jerdoni, also known as Asian stone catfish, is a small tropical freshwater fish that originates from Southeast Asia. In its natural habitat, it lives in slow-moving waters such as swamps, rice paddies, and ditches with dense vegetation. It is commonly found in still or slow-moving water among thick vegetation.

They are semi-nocturnal bottom dwellers and consume aquatic insect larvae, small crustaceans, and detritus for food. Adult individuals generally measure about 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) in length; however, specimens can grow to around 5 centimeters. They have gray bodies covered with red vertical bands of varying thicknesses; they lack scales and their bellies are white or transparent.

Species profile

hara jerdoni

Hara jerdoni , or Asian stone catfish, is a species of fish in Class Actinopterygii, Order Siluriformes. It has no dorsal spines, 7 anal spines, 24-29 dorsal soft rays, and 10 anal soft rays. This species is an egg-laying species with external fertilization. Hara jerdoni is found in South Asia.


The Hara jerdoni lives in rivers, large lakes, and reservoirs. They live in still or slow-moving waters that have mud bottoms. You can find them in muddy areas and around aquatic plants. These catfish are found most often on muddy bottoms at depths of less than 2 meters, but may be found down to 10 meters.

Their color usually ranges from yellowish-brown to dark grey, with white spots along their sides. Their bodies are rather elongated with wide heads and very small eyes. Their tail is rounded with an indented ventral fin (which means they don’t have an anus). They do not reach any great size – they grow to only 14 inches long – and it takes up to 5 years for them to reach maturity!

Hara jerdoni size

This fish can grow to an average length of 2.5 – 3 cm (1 – 1.2 inches)

Hara jerdoni tank size

The minimum recommended tank size for this fish is 5 gallons

Tank set up

Hara jerdoni are not very large and long fish, growing up to just 1.5 inches long. They need a tank of at least 5 gallons with plenty of rockwork or other decors for them to hide in, as they are shy and easily scared by movement. As with many catfish species, they prefer tanks with strong water flow, so be sure to have adequate filtration and circulation equipment.

They do best in slightly brackish water that is soft and slightly acidic. The exact levels will vary depending on your water source; talk to your local pet store about what would work best in your area. Although you can feed your fish prepared food, they also enjoy live foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp, so it’s important to provide them with frozen varieties of these foods.

Asian stone catfish tank mates

Hara jerdoni is a peaceful fish and it can be kept with other peaceful community fish. It makes an ideal community tank mate because of its friendly nature, long lifespan, and ability to coexist peacefully with other fish. Good tank mates for H. jerdoni include Synodontis catfish, barbs, larger tetras, larger danio species, swordtails, rainbowfish, and others that are too large to eat it.

Hara jerdoni breeding

hara jerdoni

Hara jerdoni should be kept in schools of 5 or more. They prefer neutral to basic water parameters with a pH from 6.5 to 7.0 and moderate hardness. The temperature range for Hara jerdoni is 74-79 degrees Fahrenheit. Provide your fish with hiding places, rocks, and caves for them to retreat into when frightened by other species of fish or when the breeding time arrives.

When spawning, they become very territorial toward their own kind, so it’s a good idea to give each individual enough room so they don’t feel crowded. They are egg scatterers and require an area that has plenty of fine substrate like sand to lay their eggs in; set up several different spots so they will have options on where they want to spawn.

After laying their eggs, you can use a turkey baster to move them if need be. You can feed these fish flake food as well as freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex worms.

Are Hara jerdoni aggressive or peaceful?

Hara jerdoni is a very peaceful fish that only becomes aggressive when food is scarce. If you have too many of these in a tank, they will end up fighting for food, which can result in deformed growth or even death. Since they are such calm and peaceful fish, it’s best to keep them with other slow-moving fish that aren’t very picky eaters or get territorial easily.

Hara jerdoni care

hara jerdoni

Haras are extremely sensitive fish and require careful attention. To keep them in good condition, they should be placed in a peaceful community tank with other docile fish and under-gravel filters. They prefer soft, acidic water at room temperature between 68–77 degrees F. This is a very hardy species; it can adapt to different water conditions, as long as you test for specific gravity and pH levels before adding it to your tank. Water changes of 10% weekly or 25% biweekly will suffice.

Hara jerdoni diet

Hara jerdoni is an omnivore. While they usually hunt for small fish, they are also known to feast on anything from aquatic insects to crayfish and other invertebrates. The Asian stone catfish, unlike most catfish species, lives out its entire life in freshwater lakes, ponds, and streams.

There are no records of them living in brackish or saltwater like some other catfish species do when young. As such, it’s advisable not to keep these fish with any saltwater-tolerant marine animals such as sea anemones or corals due to their long history without exposure to saltwater.

Water parameters

hara jerdoni

Good, basic water quality is all you need to start a healthy Asian stone catfish community. As with other species of stone catfishes, Hara jerdoni prefers shallow waters that are rich in aquatic vegetation. Water flow should be kept moderate. While Hara jerdoni requires less oxygen than most other tropical fish, sudden changes in water temperature and/or light levels may cause health problems; so make sure they are given plenty of time to acclimate before adding them to your aquarium.

The pH level should range from 6.5 to 7.0, while water hardness should be maintained at between 10 and 15 dGH. Like many Asian freshwater fishes, Haras prefer soft or slightly acidic waters with low dissolved salts content—which means they do not take well to commercial tap water: It must be properly dechlorinated before being used in their tanks! Last but not least, these fish demand large amounts of dissolved oxygen as well as efficient biological filtration.

Asian stone catfish lifespan

The Asian stone catfish can live between 5 and 10 years with good care in captivity.

Parasites and diseases

Parasites are an issue with many tropical fish, and some are microscopic. Common parasites that afflict Asian stone catfish include monogenetic trematodes (flukes), Digenean flatworms, and nematodes. The most common of these is a monogenetic trematode that burrows under their skin, causing them to scratch against objects.

When infected, Asian stone catfish scratch themselves too hard against objects, they may end up injuring themselves so severely that they die from blood loss.


Hara jerdoni is prey to many predators, but humans are their main threat. As a result of overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution, Hara jerdons’ numbers have decreased by 80% in recent years. The number one cause of death in these creatures is human ignorance; it is estimated that 200,000 Hara jerdons are killed every year due to Chinese superstition that eating catfish will improve virility.

Do Hara jerdoni make good pets?

Yes. The Asian stone catfish make for good indoor pets that don’t require much attention.